• 25th April 2024

Evolution of Surgery


Medical surgery has come a long way, right from when patients would walk inside the theatre before getting anesthesia treatment. Today, there are different types of surgical and non-surgical solutions to most complications, and it’s upon patients to choose the one they prefer most.

Thanks to advancing science and technology, most medical facilities now have more precision equipment used for surgery. This has improved results, with some surgeries recording 100% patient recovery and lifetime treatment solutions. With the advent of medical lasers used in surgery, surgeons are now finding it easy to offer cosmetic surgery to patients.

The surgery milestone

Surgery dates back to the 1800s when doctors would use low-precision scalpels’’ and more conventional tools. Unskilled people performed the earliest surgeries. Although infections were common, patients would only opt for surgery when necessary.

The pain for undergoing surgery was too much, and considering the low success rate, most patients would freak out when doctors recommend surgery. Anesthesia was not used in surgery until the mid-1800. Most studies show that until mid-1900, the likelihood of dying during surgery was much greater than the chance of survival. Traditional surgery was forceful and traumatic, and most patients would lose their lives in the process.

Most complicated surgeries like appendectomies and neck adjustment would not be administered to patients because of the complexities. Until 1885, appendicitis patients would die because of the infections that occur once the appendix ruptures.

The modern surgery 

Modern surgery takes different forms today as most surgeons are using high-precision and minimally invasive techniques. Patients now record the lowest recovery time, minimal post-surgical side effects like swelling and bruise, and few complications. Here are some important dates in the history of surgery to help you understand the milestone:

  • 1818: Dr. James Blundell performs the first human blood transfusion to treat bleeding.
  • 1809: The first ovary hysterectomy is performed to remove ovary tumor
  • 1843: The first time doctors are using Ether anesthesia in surgery
  • 1846: Ether is used by doctors for the first time in public surgery to remove a tumor from a patient’s neck. The patient is conscious but feels no pain during the surgery.
  • 1849: Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman physicians to receive a medical degree from the United States.
  • 1885: Surgeons perform the first successful appendectomy
  • 1895: The first X-ray is performed in Germany
  • 1905: The first cornea transplant is done
  • 1917: The first-ever documented plastic surgery is performed on a burnet English sailor
  • 1928: The first antibiotic, penicillin, is discovered by Alexander Fleming at St. Mary’s Hospital in London.
  • 1967: The first heart transplant is performed on a patient. Christian Barnard leads the surgery at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.
  • 1985: the first successful robotic surgery
  • 2010: The first full-face transplant and cosmetic surgery is successful in Spain

As science and technology keep evolving every day, surgery and medical operations become better. Today patients have better surgery outcomes because of research in surgery that has resulted in the state of the art equipment. Surgery is now a solution to most diseases and complications that were not treatable, giving patients another chance to live.


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